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Usage in English
Usage in Tigrigna
Subject pronouns are used in the exact same way as in English; however all subject pronouns are divided by person, number and gender (with no exceptions). So, you will see that Tigrigna sometimes will use a couple of words where there is only one English equvilent.
Here are some Tigrigna examples of subject pronouns with their English translations (the subject pronouns are underlined in each one):
Explaining grammar terms
1. Why do we call these words subject pronouns? A subject is a word that is 'committing the action.' In our two above examples:
'John grabbed the keys' and 'he grabbed the keys'
The words 'John' and 'he' are the ones that are committing an action (grabbing keys); this makes them the subjects of their sentences. In English, the subjects are always placed in the front of a sentence ([Subject] [Verb] [Object]). The same is true in Tigrigna, where the subjects are always placed in the front of a sentence ([Subject] [Object] [Verb]).
A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun. In our two above examples: 'John grabbed the keys' and 'he grabbed the keys.' The noun 'John' is replaced by the pronoun 'he.' In summery, What makes these words subjects is their role in the sentence; what makes them pronouns is the nature of their meaning.
2. While the terms: number and gender are probably familiar with you, person might not. It's just a way of organizing the subject in relation to the speaker.
First Person; example: I, We
Second Person; example: You
Third Person; example: He, She, It, They